Forbidden Love – The Undertaker (1988)

As far as lost films go, The Undertaker was never really lost simply merely forgotten and never released the year it was made. Bootlegged out in poor quality until a proper release would manifest over twenty years later, it would be the last starring role of Joe Spinell’s career which ended up being a bit of a shame as the film was never completely finished. What would finally end up being set free officially would be an edited version and it shows as the ending is not as strong as it could have been as well as being pretty tedious during certain parts but for what it was, it was not terrible.

Spinell plays Roscoe, the local undertaker and a man with a few perversions to his name including a bit of necrophilia which his nephew catches wind of and looks to expose. Suffice it to say, the nephew gets what is coming to him and Roscoe continues on until Johnny Law starts to figure things out and he eventually gets his comeuppance though not without a little blood and nudity along the way.

Aside from the film being a little slow-moving in places, those who star within it were not quite as good as one might expect but given the budget, those expectations were perhaps a little too high in the first place. It all turns out to be a little amateurish and sometimes hard to watch but there are movies that have featured far worse performances than these and here at least they were watchable. One thing the picture did have going for it was more than a bit of nudity peppered throughout, a must given this was a slasher, as well as a couple of shocking scenes that would more than convince the audience that Roscoe had absolutely no morals to be found and just a bit of blood to keep things honest. Spinell whose performance in Maniac is one to be remembered, does an all right job here but it is by far nowhere near what he was capable of and the fact that the filmmakers never got to finish the film would be quite sad as it might have turned out to be a totally different beast.

For what it was, that being an unfinished movie, The Undertaker was an okay watch, a movie not worth tracking down unless a fan of slashers and sleaze or Spinell and at that point whether it is the official release or the bootlegged version one wants to chase or simply watching it on Tubi, it is in the viewer’s hands at that point.

1.5 out of 5

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